STRONGERLEANER's SparkPeople Blog STRONGERLEANER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Moon Watching I couldn't sleep last night. Into the early hours of the morning, I still couldn't fall asleep. I decided to watch the lunar eclipse, or at least, take peeks at it. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see anything but I was able to find a live feed online. It was cool to watch, especially since I was trying to fall asleep. It was just pretty and peaceful. <BR> <BR> I think sitting still and observing things is good for all of us. The stillness and quiet is something we all need at... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:06:28 EST Quick Update Today was really better. I've done much more walking, was able to do more housework, and I feel like I may be able to run tomorrow. I thought I would be able to run today but I was wrong. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> Still, today is better. That's a blessing. I am very thankful! <BR> <em>458</em> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 23:56:04 EST Much Better Today Thank you all for your comments. I'm doing much better today. <BR> <BR> I didn't approach stairs with as much trepidation today! <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> By Saturday, I think I'll feel like myself again. <BR> <BR> Today, I've been taking things slowly, gently. <BR> <BR> I've been looking over my work-out from Monday to see areas that I may need to modify. I've decided to back-off of some of the leg work or to divide up different exercises between different days again. For the upp... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:13:15 EST Worse Today I really thought the pain would be better today. Sadly, I was wrong. <BR> <BR> I think some of my muscles that were already hurting went on strike. They decided to let the other muscles do all the work. Now those muscles are hurting. I really did a number on myself. <BR> <BR> I don't know where I went wrong. I didn't go crazy but the pain means that clearly I went beyond what would be considered healthy. Now, I can't run. Not that I had made much advancement in running, but I was doing som... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 21:11:39 EST Gently I go... If there was any doubt in my mind that I worked by abs or my quads sufficiently yesterday, all doubt was gone when I climbed out of bed this morning. <BR> <BR> I had trouble with almost every movement there is. I think I overdid almost everything but those are the two areas where I feel it the most. Maybe it's because those areas are constantly in use. <BR> <BR> Today's work-out was much more gentle. Tomorrow, I'm hoping the soreness will have faded more and I'll be able to resume my sched... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 23:20:11 EST Grand Ideas I decided to step up the work-outs a bit. I'm trying to now alternate running, as much as I can, with short walking rest intervals on one day and doing full-body strength on alternating days. I'm alternating for six days and then resting completely, I think, on the seventh day. <BR> <BR> Yeah.... <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> The running day, yesterday, went very well. I was happy with how it session went. <BR> <BR> The strength day, wow, not what I had hoped. <BR> <BR> I am just not used to... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 23:37:38 EST Wonderful Walk We went out to dinner to celebrate for the birthday of a friend. After dinner, I knew I didn't have time to go back home and go to the gym. Instead, I drove to a nearby area that has pretty trees in bloom with LOTS of people walking and sitting, and I walked until I felt like almost couldn't go on...but in a good way. <BR> <BR> It felt great. There was a breeze, there were flowers, there were people smiling, and saying hello. I really enjoyed it. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping I don't pay for it with... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 23:39:32 EST It's April It's April! I'm so glad that March is done! <BR> <BR> March was not my best month. I give myself a big fat C for my goals for last month. With the anemia, it made it hard to do a lot of the activities I normally do. I'm working on beating this and other obstacles but the road has been rough. <BR> <BR> For April, my goals are modest. I have very simple goals. <BR> 1. Improve my stamina <BR> 2. Improve my flexibility <BR> 3. Work on beating the anemia <BR> <BR> That's it. <BR> <BR> Could I ... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 23:31:30 EST Silly Me, I thought it was spring... The past few days have been warmer. It's been really nice. I've enjoyed not needing a real coat. <BR> <BR> I stepped outside today without checking the weather report. I knew we were expecting rain and didn't bother to check on the temperature. Big mistake. <BR> <BR> I guess it will feel like spring when God is ready for it to feel like Spring. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I had a heavy jacket in the car and didn't have to go back for a coat. I hadn't warmed the car ahead of time, which was a mi... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:59:57 EST Looking Back I have a friend with whom I meet once a month. We both stay pretty busy but try to keep in contact and do fun activities when we can. <BR> <BR> Today, we hadn't really planned ahead. We went to dinner and then took a walk for some exercise and fresh air. <BR> <BR> During the walk we talked about different things that meant something to us when we were younger. We talked about choices we had made, good and bad. <BR> <BR> The talk made me think about doing some of the things I did before. It... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 00:00:06 EST Some Days... Our heat went out yesterday. The temperature outside was in the freezing range. Fortunately, we were able to get someone to repair it quickly. <BR> <BR> Then, I got turned around on my way to an appointment. I called my destination to say I might arrive late. (It's about a 40 min. drive but it was turning into about a 45 to 50 min endeavor.) <BR> <BR> I arrived at the destination a few minutes late but within the time given "grace period." The parking garage was almost full. Took almost 10 ... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:54:20 EST I Might Need a New Scale As mentioned before, I have taken a scale hiatus. Today, out of curiosity, with no intent to record the number, I hopped on the scale. The number seemed odd, but possible to me. I stepped off, waited a minute, then stepped back on. I got a different number. <BR> <BR> I started walking away. Then, turned back around, waited a minute, and stepped back on the scale. <BR> <BR> Guess what! A different number. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> It's a good thing I'm not quite ready to end the hiat... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:46:43 EST Sick Child I hate when my child is sick. I hate that anything ever hurts him or makes him feel bad in any way. <BR> <BR> I know, though, that getting sick, like encountering any obstacle, is a part of life. <BR> <BR> Hoping he'll be better soon. <BR> <BR> Always hoping and praying for the best for him. <BR> <BR> Supposedly it's the tough times that make us stronger. <BR> <em>211</em> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:41:24 EST Anemic There is a reason I'm so tired all the time. I'm anemic. <BR> I thought I had the anemia beat. Guess not. <BR> <BR> I'm going to beat it, though. I'm going to get my energy back. <BR> <BR> We'll be monitoring things for a while. <BR> <BR> On a good note, it appears as though my organs are functioning properly. The good food and exercise are helping me in some way, even if I haven't gotten the energy boost I need. With a few tweaks, hopefully I'll be roaring on all cylinders. <BR> <em>21... Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:50:52 EST Answers Tomorrow the doctor is supposed to have more of my results. I'm looking forward to hearing what they are and seeing if maybe we can get these allergies in check. <BR> <BR> I'm still working diligently but I have exceeded my allotted calories a few days this month. Nothing crazy, though, and still in range if I average the calories from each day so far this month. <BR> <BR> I've had a colorful day today. I haven't logged all my food yet and I'm hoping that I'm still within range. I allowe... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:53:57 EST Allergies Kicking my Behind It's not quite spring but for some reason my allergies are in high gear. They are really ruining my work-out stamina. <BR> <BR> I've started taking my allergy meds again but I may need to switch. The one I'm using doesn't seem to be doing the job well enough. <BR> <BR> I really didn't think my allergies would be this bad yet. We've still got freezing temperatures. <BR> <BR> Hopefully this is not an indication of things to come. If so, I may be in real trouble this spring. Thu, 6 Mar 2014 23:35:04 EST Needing a Vacation I haven't taken a vacation by myself, ever. I'm extremely tempted to try to plan such an event now. Other times when I've considered doing this, I knew I would miss a family member too much. <BR> <BR> I'm debating now if I just went somewhere, for a couple of days, without taking family with me, how it would go. <BR> <BR> I feel like I want to wake up and not worry about what someone eats or drinks, or what they wear, or what they left at home... <BR> <BR> ...just for a few days. Wed, 5 Mar 2014 23:18:39 EST Not Feeding the Stress I promised myself I would celebrate and encourage myself with victories, even when they are little victories. <BR> <BR> My stress level has been high lately. Normally, I'm a stress eater. For quite some time now, I have managed to NOT feed my stress. It has become a littler easier to NOT reach for food. I haven't figured out how to eliminate as much stress as I would like but I'm doing better with dealing with least as far as food is concerned. <BR> <BR> Exercise helps me with the s... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 22:56:04 EST a Clear Sign of Stress I'm a little stressed. Sometimes, I think I'm so conditioned to the stress that I don't notice it. <BR> <BR> Last night my husband and I went to an event. At the very center of the table's centerpiece was a wine glass. It had some type of colored liquid in it as well as a floating candle. I wanted to drink it...and I don't drink. <BR> <BR> I kept gazing at it. It was almost comical. <BR> <BR> Obviously I'm stressed. I'm still working on stress relief. I think it's one of those things you ... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 23:50:01 EST March Goals 2014 March is here! I am so glad. <BR> <BR> Soon flowers will be everywhere! They will make me sneeze but I will still love them! <BR> <BR> I'm waiting for some medical test results to come back but I still want to set some goals. <BR> <BR> For now: <BR> 5 days of cardio <BR> 3 days of strength <BR> work on flexibility and range of motion 5 days per wk <BR> 1250 fitness minutes <BR> 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables 4 to 5 days per wk <BR> try a new fruit, vegetable, or grain <BR> listen... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 23:02:12 EST February Ends (2014) I had high hopes for February. I think I did pretty well. While there are areas that need improvement, I really put forth some serious effort. <BR> <BR> I ended up going to the doctor today. They ran some tests and I hope to hear some news soon. In the meantime, I'm pushing forward and hopeful that I can keep improving! <BR> <BR> February Goals <BR> <BR> Food Goals <BR> 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day <em>48</em> <BR> at least 60 grams of protein each day MOST DA... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 21:19:47 EST 7 Weeks, Concerned Today marks seven weeks of healthy eating and exercise. While I can see definite improvements, I have areas of concern. I've decided to move up my doctor's appointment, if there is an appointment available. <BR> <BR> I am not seeing the improvements anywhere near the rates I achieved previously. Also, my energy isn't improving, when previously the work-outs made wonderful improvements in this area. <BR> <BR> Also, even though I have eased up a little in my work-outs, I'm finding my need f... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:19:27 EST Cranky Last night I had a hard time sleeping. I was up all night. I was still awake at 5:55 am. <BR> <BR> Then, I had to get up and get to the office earlier than normal. <BR> <BR> I've had about an hour of sleep. I had to work late. <BR> <BR> I'm so cranky but I can't get to sleep. It's crazy!!! <BR> <BR> As tired as I am, I was REALLY nice to everyone today, even people who got on my nerves. I just feel weird. <BR> <BR> Hoping to get good sleep tonight so I can have a great work-out tomo... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:53:36 EST Fitness Gear / Work-out Clothes, Recommendations? I decided to reward myself with fitness gear for continuing in my health journey. <BR> <BR> I need to buy more work-out clothes. I've been putting it off because I don't want to spend money on items that I'm only going to wear for a short time. I don't remember getting rid of my larger sized work-out wear from years before, but apparently I only kept a few pieces. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I am not slimming down as fast as I would like. I'm working-out regularly and a few items are way past ... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 23:51:16 EST Muscle Soreness and Some Random Items My muscles are sore from the work-outs of the past two days. I don't think I was overdoing anything but I think the rowing machine worked my muscles in a different way, possibly giving a work-out to muscles I was unintentionally neglecting. <BR> <BR> In my quest to become a runner, I've been pushing the legs. They are a little more sore than usual today. <BR> <BR> I'm planning a slow walk with some ab work today. I am going to sensibly work through the soreness. <BR> <BR> Still trying to ... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:23:51 EST Trying New Things #1 I finally tried the rowing machine at the gym! <BR> <BR> It didn't go as well as I had hoped. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> First, some equipment moved. I had to locate the machines. <BR> <BR> I managed to pick a machine that wasn't working very well. Since it wasn't really working properly, I thought I was operating it improperly. Then I had to find someone to help me. Then, I found I was actually really doing it right before. <BR> <BR> I started with the resistance pretty low, just in ... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 09:38:48 EST Rough Day It's been a rough of those days where you feel like you're working and working but nothing is getting accomplished. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will be better! <BR> <BR> I just know it. <BR> <BR> Still exercising! Still working on good food choices! Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:59:28 EST ...Because I was too comfortable with the amount of gray I had I'm getting closer and closer to the 6 weeks mark. Since I feel like I should have some real visible changes by that time, as I dried my hair, I actually looked in the mirror at myself, rather than glancing, because I wanted a little more affirmation from my hard work. <BR> <BR> How was I rewarded? With the waist looking a little more defined and the hair being noticeably more gray. <BR> <BR> I am shocked to see how quickly I went from looking for signs of improved fitness to looking for ad... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 19:23:52 EST A Little Progress I was so happy to get back to the gym yesterday evening. Once I got there, I had trouble picking a cardio machine. I decided to go back to the elliptical since I'm still trying to strengthen the ankle. <BR> <BR> After working out for several days at home, I was very excited to be able to bump up the resistance and incline for the elliptical machine. It made me feel really good! <BR> <BR> The lateral movements for my leg are also getting better! This is huge since I lost a lot of this functi... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:55:42 EST MIssing the Gym Again I LOVE my gym membership but sometimes my day is just too crazy and my work-outs end up being somewhere outside of the gym. The past few days have been that way. I contemplated going to the gym yesterday but knew I needed to rest. Now, today, there's too much snow. <BR> <BR> I am one of those people that does NOT drive in the snow. Some people should not. I am one of those people. <BR> <BR> All exercise will be from home today. Although I'm disappointed, I'm not going to let that stop me f... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:26:43 EST About Four and a Half Weeks I still consider myself to be at the beginning of starting over right now. I'm not a total-newbie but my body is still getting used to the demands I put on it. I feel like I'm making progress, slowly, but progress is progress. <BR> <BR> My husband told me again that he can see more changes in my body. This time he named a different area of my body than in the previous mention of changes. My husband is generous with the "flowery words" which makes me hesitant to accept that there are visible ... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:57:53 EST Becoming a Runner I have toyed with the idea of becoming a runner. I've even thought about eventually running a half marathon. Right now, it's seems like a fantasy. <BR> <BR> My leg is not enjoying the running. I think I still need to build the muscles around the old injury and keep working on the flexibility. I think I'm doing a good job on working the endurance of the leg but I think I am going to really have to concentrate on strength and flexibility if I ever want to run any farther than a 5K. I can walk ... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 20:38:15 EST Reluctant Rest Day Today was a rest day. <BR> <BR> It was hard for me. I wanted so badly to go the gym. I found myself dancing around now and then because I was so antsy. I just knew, though, that I could NOT be trusted going to the gym today. I would not do something light. I would not do something easy. I would have tried to push my limits. <BR> <BR> I will learn to temper myself...some day. <BR> <BR> For now, though, it's good that I stayed home. Although I was still tempted to exercise, I was better abl... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 22:58:06 EST Better Ending to a Tough Day Yesterday was tough. By the end of the day I was incredibly frustrated and tired. I contemplated skipping my work-out, especially since a rest day would have been perfectly acceptable. My work-out clothes that I had laid-out had even disappeared. <BR> <BR> I decided to go to the gym anyway. <BR> <BR> I'm so glad I went. It made the ending of the day SO MUCH BETTER. <BR> <BR> I'm working on balance this month, so I probably do need to take a rest day today. However, this has been another ... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 16:15:22 EST Little Victories Yesterday I had a GREAT work-out! Wish the gym had been open longer. Came home and worked out more. <BR> <BR> Today wasn't as great but still good. So glad I went and looking forward to tomorrow! <BR> <BR> I ate well at the Superbowl gathering! No overeating, soda, or sweets. <BR> <BR> I baked cookies upon request and promised myself I would only eat one. I kept that promise! <BR> <BR> Little victories add up. <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> Sun, 2 Feb 2014 23:59:54 EST February 2014 Goals My husband says I'm getting smaller. I don't see it, but that's okay. Right now, the focus is habits and health, not numbers on the scale or tape measure. <BR> <BR> February Goals <BR> <BR> Food Goals <em>551</em> <BR> 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day <BR> at least 60 grams of protein each day <BR> try a new (to me) fruit, vegetable, or grain <BR> add tea back into food plan <BR> Vitamin C (100 mg) at least 4 days per week by food <BR> <BR> Strength Goals <em>34</em> ... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 14:39:57 EST January Ends January has come to and end. I set some goals and I did pretty well. <BR> <BR> My January Health/Fitness Goals: <BR> <BR> 1. Consistently eat vegetables and fruit <em>248</em> <BR> 2. Add more non-meat protein sources <em>248</em> <BR> 3. Exercise at least 5 times per week, emphasizing strength and flexibility <em>248</em> <BR> 4. Consult but not rely on my scale to check my progress: Goal omitted due to scale hiatus <BR> <BR> Not bad. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I don't feel ... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 23:20:56 EST Just Too Sweet I like dessert but don't really have it often. I'm a little odd in that I like to eat my baked goods while they are still warm. This keeps me from being tempted by a few different items. <BR> <BR> ...but, I really like an occasional donut. Since we were going to be snowed-in, my husband picked up a few. While I normally scrape the frosting off of cake before I eat it, I'm usually okay with a little bit of chocolate frosting on my donut. Today, it was way too sweet. <BR> <BR> Part of me is ... Wed, 29 Jan 2014 19:41:06 EST Lies the Machine Told Me, Sweet Little Lies There's one area of the new gym with several different types of machines in one area, with only one duplicate machine, almost as if it were set up for circuit training. I go to this area sometimes for that very reason. <BR> <BR> I hadn't used the treadmill in this particular area before, but used it for convenience today. It lied to me. <BR> <BR> There is no way in the world I was walking or running as fast as it says I was. Therefore, there's no way I was burning as many calories as it sai... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 22:52:24 EST Learning about the Gym The gym I joined is pretty large. I generally work-out in specific areas of the gym and have been a little hesitant about venturing into different areas. <BR> <BR> I always intend to arrive a little early to ask questions, walk around, or to locate different equipment. What normally happens is I get sidetracked by other responsibilities and arrive with time to get in my work-out, but not much else. <BR> <BR> I did walk around a little bit yesterday before my work-out but I need to really ... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:24:10 EST Over-did Arms A few days ago, while doing my upper-body exercises, I overdid the arms. I'm not sure if it was the biceps or triceps that I worked in an overzealous manner as they both were unhappy. <BR> <BR> I'm giving them extra rest this week. Apparently I still have not figured out my limits. This is good and bad as it shows I'm still not afraid to push myself. The danger is pushing myself too far. <BR> <BR> Abs and legs are still pretty happy, which means I'm doing something right. <BR> <em>211</e... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:23:24 EST Flip-Flopping Yesterday the urge to work-out was intense. I was exhausted and sore but I still wanted to work-out. I kept resisting the urge to just do something small. I made it through the day. <BR> <BR> The night was challenging as a member of my family had trouble sleeping. Any time someone is restless in my house, I don't sleep well. <BR> <BR>, I was still exhausted and debated about resting another day. I ended up with some additional responsibilities and skipping the work-out seemed e... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 22:43:09 EST It's Supposed to be a Rest Day Today is supposed to be a rest day. Yesterday should have been one but I REALLY wanted to go work-out. So, I did. <BR> <BR> I'm paying for it today. I paid for it a little last night. <BR> <BR> ...and yet today I still want to go work-out. <BR> <BR> I don't feel guilty about not working-out. In my head, I know full well that I need to let my body rest. I just really love my work-outs. I knew I liked regular work-outs, and I knew ending my previous gym membership was a sacrifice, but I had ... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 17:04:55 EST Avoiding the Scale I'm avoiding the scale. <BR> <BR> No, I'm not eating crazy amounts or skipping work-outs. I just know how disappointed I can sometimes become if I don't see the numbers I want. <BR> <BR> I can't decide when I'll get back on. I'm enjoying the work-outs and the fruits and vegetables. I don't want anything to deter that. Therefore, right now, I think I'm just going to concentrate on consistent healthy choices. It's my journey, after all, and I get to decide the route I take. <BR> <BR> If it ... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:28:27 EST Sorta-Kinda Rest Day I'm still getting used to the new gym. There is more than one location in the area, therefore I can go to different locations if I choose. This raises the familiarity challenge a bit but it also gives me options. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I am planning to try one of the group classes. For me, it's a new class, with a new instructor, at a new gym. Since I don't really know what to expect, and I've already done more than 4 hours of cardio in the last 4 as much strength as I can currently ... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 13:05:11 EST Doing Something Right I was concerned I would have DOMS after Saturday's work-out and I did. Fortunately, it wasn't bad enough to keep me from going to the gym on Sunday. I clocked more cardio than I thought I would and I'm excited about going today. <BR> <BR> I guess I'm doing something right. <BR> <em>104</em> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:11:59 EST It Was Great I had no idea how much I missed my gym membership. I went today and I feel incredible. I may have DOMs tomorrow but today I am on Cloud 9. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was psyched to be able to have my first day back at the gym. I was trying to squeeze a lot into one day but was determined to get to the gym, even if for only 30 mins. Unfortunately I had the hours mixed up and the gym was closed before I could get there. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I drove to a store that stays open late, p... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 20:38:45 EST New Gym To save a few dollars, I let my gym membership go for a while. There is another gym, still pretty close to me, that is open more hours than the gym where I used to be a member. As an added bonus, a few people I know are actually member there. Instead of reactivating my membership at the gym where I am familiar, I have joined a different gym. <BR> <BR> I am really excited about it. <BR> <BR> Working out at home is okay but hasn't kept me as motivated or excited about my work-outs. While I'v... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 15:23:19 EST Happy New Year, Goals for January HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! <BR> <BR> It's hard for me to believe that 2013 has ended. It's been a rough year, I am thankful, but I say, "Good Riddance!" <BR> <BR> Planning to do what I can to make 2014 better. <BR> <BR> My January Health/Fitness Goals: <BR> <BR> 1. Consistently eat vegetables and fruit <BR> 2. Add more non-meat protein sources <BR> 3. Exercise at least 5 times per week, emphasizing strength and flexibility <BR> 4. Consult but not rely on my scale to check my progress <BR> <BR> N... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 20:23:40 EST Merry Christmas Hoping everyone had a great Christmas. <BR> <BR> I'm setting new goals and taking inventory. <BR> <BR> Looking forward to making changes in the coming days and for next year. <BR> <em>386</em> Thu, 26 Dec 2013 23:50:47 EST